The Durkins have been saving the world for 300 years. The trouble is that nobody believes it.
Most of his fellow townspeople think of Jack Durkin as that dotty old weed-puller. Some get nastier. Pointedly, they insist that Durkin fingers have been in the town far too long. What hurts most is the viper in Jack’s nest: Lydia, his distinctly anti-Penelope wife, who sides with his detractors. The mystery started in 1710 when the famous (or infamous) Contract was drawn up to recompense the heirs of the early, reluctantly heroic Durkin chosen to preserve the town, and by extension the world, from the assault of the Aukowies. Blanketing Lorne Field like a riot of weeds, they seemed less dangerous than unsightly, but no weed ever had such lethal potential. Catch them at two inches and they were manageable. Turn your back and they zoomed to five, requiring Herculean efforts to exterminate. Above five inches, the cause was lost. According to the Book of the Aukowies, it would take only weeks to “ravage the land,” converting humankind into “mincemeat.” Increasingly now, there are days when heartsick Jack, beset by ingrates, betrayed by those he loves most, contemplates his mission and considers it impossible.
Harrowing. Zeltserman (Killer, 2010, etc.) colors it black with the best of them.